TOOL AND DIE MAKER - Job Duties
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The job duties of a tool or die maker are very complex. One must be very skilled to complete his or her job. A person may be expected to produce both tools and dies, or may specialize in one or the other. Either way, the job functions the same way and requires the same skills.
Tool and die makers are given an idea of what they will be making, usually by consulting blueprints, plans, drawings, or instructions. They are then responsible for figuring out how they will make the tool or die. They draw up a plan for themselves for how they will go about making the product and then begin. The process involves a lot of precision, so one must be very focused, organized, and driven.
Workers then begin to create their tools or dies. They will need to cut, form, or make a mold to create the pieces that will come together as a finished tool or die. They may have to use other machines to cut any metal they're using. This requires knowledge of many different kinds of machinery. They must also have knowledge of different kinds of metal because they must decide which kind to use. Once the pieces are complete, workers put them together to form their tool or die. This process also may include polishing the metal surface or grinding it to make it smooth.
Did You Know?
The American inventor Eli Whitney changed the face of tool and die making in 1798. The United States government asked him to produce 10,000 muskets, which were weapons used in combat. Whitney discovered that he could design machines to make separate, identical pieces that then could be easily assembled to make a musket. Before this, the pieces were each made by hand. Whitney's discovery shortened the production time and paved the way for modern tool and die making.
The last step of the process is to ensure that their tools or dies conform to the specifications that were given. They test their products to make sure that they can perform the functions for which they were intended.
As computers become more advanced, tool and die makers increasingly use them to help make their products. When coming up with a plan for how they will make their tools and dies, tool and die makers rely on computers to help calculate measurements and produce accurate drawings of the parts. This helps ensure the accuracy of the process. Computers help speed up production time and make the job of a tool or die maker easier.